6 Ways Purpose Built Medical Tablets Make Hospitals Safer for Patients

6-ways-purpose-built-medical-tablets-make-hospitals-safer-for-patientsThe biggest use of purpose-built medical tablets in the healthcare space isn’t just thanks to the fact that doctors and nurses stay on the leading edge of technology. As a demographic, medical professionals adopted smartphone technology in advance of and in greater numbers than the rest of the professional community.

It is, in fact, driven by the fact that patients find medical tablets give them more freedom to stay in touch with their healthcare providers (including doctors, nurses, pharmacists and health plan administrators). Tablet use by healthcare professionals means patients have greater access than ever to those directly and indirectly involved with their health.

Nowhere is this truer than in hospital settings, patients can stay updated on a regular basis when their chart is readily available, easy to access with a tap.

However, most healthcare professionals consider implementing or improving mobile technologies to be a high or mid-level priority not just due to patient trust levels and satisfaction, but from actual benefits to patient safety, particularly in hospital settings. Tablets allow:

  • Faster, more accurate patient monitoring and data collection, including the ability to use mobile broadband and Wi-Fi enabled interfaces to track patient monitoring devices and medical instruments, with connectivity and ability to receive updated data in real time.
  • Dashboard access to all vital patient data, covering patients, prescriptions, diagnostics, legal, financial and operational information summaries and details.
  • Reliable appointment scheduling to enhance patient care after discharge – including doctor and nurse visits, laboratory tests, reminders, and re-scheduling.
  • Prescriptions management, including authorizations, refills, patient-drug interaction and dosage management.
  • Reduction of error prone human data entry by feeding in data from patient care systems.
  • Easy access to patient data at a variety of authorized levels to ensure appropriate patient care and stay compliant with privacy laws.

Medical tablet tech allows doctors, nurses and other healthcare personnel to communicate virtually and more effectively, while keeping privacy and security of all data properly protected – important in all healthcare settings, and particularly in medical military scenarios.

Tablet computers are gaining an increasing foothold in the healthcare sector across all segments, and increasing tablet adoption in the healthcare industry provides endless possibilities for the improvement of patient safety and care. Deploying purpose-built medical tablets across a wide range of hospital facilities and specialty clinics as well as in first responder settings can only lead to better patient outcomes.

How does Patient Side Computing Enhance Healthcare?

how-does-patient-side-computing-enhance-healthcareInfotainment is a rapidly spreading concept across the digital landscape – combining information and attractive content with the goal of providing entertainment handinhand with data that is of value to the viewer.

This idea is evident in the healthcare industry. Waiting rooms play informational content on a loop, hoping patients will absorb data that could help improve their care and their compliance with treatment plans. A new take on this avenue of patient education is patient-side computing, a more personalized way to gain exposure to beneficial knowledge.

Research and experimentation that examines patient-side computing setups in healthcare environments can track levels of positive engagement, and devise new ways to deliver data in a user-friendly format. The gradual shift in focus is away from the typical ceiling mount television and restricted cable network providing a comforting drone of syndicated entertainment and towards a more interactive patient experience with Medical Cart Computers that track patient care, capture data, and can also be used to provide information as well as entertainment to captive audiences.  

This information dissemination pattern has been successfully implemented in other verticals. Hotels and restaurants provide tablet computers in the room or on the table, allowing users to order and pay outstanding bills, and these tablets also often offer the option for more entertaining types of interacting by way of apps or games, either free or paid, allowing users to entertain themselves. In many cases, for example the tourism related businesses, information about local attractions can be fed alongside fun facts about the area, or quizzes can be used to pique interest.

When utilizing digital devices in a healthcare setting, the issue of security and privacy is a priority. Patient-side computing can be regulated by strict accessibility parameters – infotainment options segmented form patient data, and key card access required for sensitive data or tools. This allows for one device to have multiple functions, and reduces the number of computers required for each room.

The benefits of infotainment and patient computing options is proven to enhance patient stays in healthcare facilities, encouraging patient interaction and increasing satisfaction as well as ultimate outcomes. When patients can receive valuable data about their condition, communicate with hospital staff, enjoy various forms of entertainment, and even interact in a limited way with the main system (such as ordering food from the cafeteria), their experience is positively enhanced.

The psychological aspect of recovery is bolstered by allowing the patients to feel like they are in charge of their recovery, and can reduce readmission rates, leading to savings for the facility and higher grades for patient care. Infotainment is shaping up to be the next huge step forward in the realm of patient-side care.

Five Reasons All Doctors Need Advanced Mobile Capability

five-reasons-all-doctors-need-advanced-mobile-capabilityMobile tech use in the healthcare vertical has exploded over the past five years. According to a March, 2015 study by Kantar Media, 84% of US physicians polled use smartphones for professional purposes, and 56% use tablets.

Diagnostic tools, clinical reference apps, drug and coding references, and productivity and organizational tools were the top types of usage for smartphone carriers, while those who used tablets concentrated more on readable content and patient side care, with medical journal and electronic medical record apps as well as diagnostic tools and patient education tools.

Tablet use has been expanding among doctors, with the larger screens and ability to share screen views more readily with patients and other professionals leading to better versatility that outweighs the bulkier format. While institutions that provide mobile devices were more likely to hand out smartphones, the ones that opted for tablet deployment saw faster implementation of the devices in day-to-day use.

Patients also appreciate tablet use by their healthcare professionals; again, the ability to input, retrieve, share, and store information in real time is attractive to patients who seek to feel involved in their own care, and the tablet provides an easy way for doctors to loop patients in on the data files being created for them. Apps can be recommended and shared with patients who require monitoring, whether they are image based meal logs for diabetics, logs for exercise, heart rate and blood pressure evaluators, or sleep tracking.  

The apps available for healthcare are in the tens of thousands. According to research by MedData Group in January, 2015, the leading apps allow access to specialty specific and clinical content; medical education articles; and pharma information, specifically contraindications and drug interaction information. Having quick access and the ability to double check data while patient-side increases trust and leads to better outcomes.

Only 20% of doctors as of that study reported not reading medical content on mobile devices, and polling from just one year prior showed nearly 40% of doctors were committed to making their practice mobile friendly for both staff and patients, citing the benefits of understanding the needs of a mobile generation, and the ability to enhance patient compliance via app use and data capture long term.

Overall, tablets can be expected to continue to advance on smartphones in the medical field, especially in the arena of patient interaction. From access to EHRs to app development for patient care, there are more benefits on the horizon for medical adaptation and patient implementation.

Medical Automation: Tech Meets the Healthcare Industry

Hospitals are ecosystems. The flow of information is lifeblood, and the devices that capture, display, store, analyze and transmit the data are the organs. Using the best possible devices in healthcare settings means that data is properly handled, utilized, and shared, providing better outcomes for patients and streamlined workflow processes for personnel.  

Improved Workflows

The workflow starts with the patient. The data they provide is crucial to proper treatment. This data must be captured as swiftly, completely, and accurately as possible. Having medical cart computers ensures information can be entered and checked with the patient in real time, while ascertaining vital data such as medical history and drug interactions.

While patient-provided data isn’t always accurate, it often contains the key to proper diagnosis and treatment and can help avoid errors leading to patient endangerment form allergic reactions, drug interactions, and more. Patient side computing also allows for authorized personnel and family members to share in completing histories and other key data acquisition, enhancing rapid and appropriate care via approved treatment plans.

Digital Strategy

Digital strategies allow doctors to streamline and reengineer the process to create visual, automated services that can be shared with patients and other doctors for a clear picture and better comprehension, building patient trust for their medical professionals.

  • Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are a perfect example, already being implemented across the country to track patient health data and support medical decisions. Digital medical imaging systems sync with records systems making it easy to compare images and update files, share information, and transfer records.  
  • Mobile health (mHealth) initiatives are also on the rise, enabling physicians and patients to use mobile devices to improve care.
  • Telemedicine is another byproduct of digital health care, providing broader access regardless of location, leading to improved care in rural areas.
  • Real-time location systems (RTLS) can locate equipment, patients and staff.

Process Duplication

Another aspect of medical automation is how it can reduce process duplication and the errors that can arise due to this issue. Standardizing procedures, breaking them down into individual components, digitizing data, connecting various types of records, and analyzing data leads to complete integration of disparate elements.  

Advanced Technology

Better tech means better outcomes. Mobile, cloud and new communication technologies working together to capture data from EHRs, wearables, clinical information systems, mobile devices and more can streamline workflows and enable providers to spend more time with patients and less time on non-patient side care.

Just Another Crazy Night in the ER – How Tech is Revolutionizing Healthcare

The demands of an overworked, understaffed healthcare system lead to mistakes that can take time, cost money, and even reduce medical quality. Walking the fine line between patient confidentiality and the need for rapid access between doctors and other specialists means needing the latest in technology as well as training to keep everything flowing smoothly – even when things get chaotic.

Chaos Leads to Mistakes

A crazy night in an emergency room is the perfect example. An emergent situation leads one medical professional to set down a clipboard temporarily, and follow up on an existing patient is missed. Another patient ends up stranded in a hallway waiting for a bed, forgotten due to a missed entry in the main system. A third received incorrect medication since a note from one chart wasn’t transferred to another quickly enough, and meanwhile doctors on one floor wait in vain for input from a specialist two floors above.

Paper charts can get mislaid, drenched in coffee, or rendered indecipherable with a dozen different forms of handwriting. Data input can be rife with errors as harried staff try to meet the demands for immediate help coming from all sides. Valuable time is lost as doctors and nurses must be tracked down to verify and rectify incomplete or incorrect information, and clarify treatment protocols.

Portable Points of Access Can Help

A system that allows portable points of access which can be handed off as needed will streamline healthcare in busy settings. The capabilities of an ER with a rugged tablet assigned to every bed would mean faster, more effective patient care, ease of communication between staffers, and rapid sharing of notes, recommendations, lab results, and more. Patient histories and charts can be transferred to other beds, rooms, and floors with a quick click, and specialists can weigh in remotely with easy access to lab and test results and scans.

Durability and Connectivity Are Key

A rugged tablet is both portable and highly functional, allowing real time connectivity among health care professionals on and off site. There are no misplaced notes; med checks become faster and more accurate, and data can be added and sent seamlessly between devices on a secure hospital network.

Patient care improves exponentially when data availability is made a priority. Stressed health care professionals find the ability to share information on patients in real time leads to better outcomes, and human error is reduced when the data is readily accessible and verifiable.

The ability to seamlessly integrate notes and results from different departments and specialists and transmit them to those interacting one on one with patients is invaluable. Rugged tablets make perfect sense in a healthcare setting, and when used in tandem with larger computing systems like medical carts, they can revolutionize patient care.